The Ararat Project is hosted in the Stawell -Bendigo zone of the Lachlan Fold Belt and is comprised of Cambrian age mafic volcanic and pelitic sedimentary units of the Moornambool Metamorphics which were metamorphosed to greenschist to amphibolite facies during the Silurian period.
The Ararat Project hosts Besshi-sty le VMS copper-gold-zinc mineralisation at Mt Ararat with a Total Mineral Resource of 1.3 Mt at 2.0% copper, 0.5 g/t gold and 0.4% zinc and 6 g/t silver including 0.25 Mt at 2.2% copper in Indicated Mineral Resources with the remainder of the Total Mineral Resource classified as Inferred Resources.
The Ararat Goldfield has significant historic alluvial and deep lead production of circa 640,000 ounces of gold but with no known hard-rock source.
Regional gravity, induced polarisation (IP) and soil geochemical sampling programmes conducted recently over the prospective stratigraphy in the Ararat Project have identified new base metal and gold targets. A strong arsenic anomaly has been defined in the northern portion of the Ararat Project. The +20 ppm arsenic anomaly extends in excess of 2.8 kilometres and is predominantly located on the Minotaur Joint Venture tenement EL5450. Several of the soil samples in this area returned gold values in excess of 50 ppb, with peak values of 103 ppb (0.10 g/t) and 238 ppb (0.24 g/t) gold. The gold-arsenic anomaly is coincident with three primary historic gold workings, namely the Plantagenet, New Hope and Goldburra Mines.
Anomalous gold values of 1.25 g/t and 1.41 g/t were returned from rock chip samples previously collected by Stavely Minerals in this area. Exploration licence 6271, immediately to the north of the Ararat Project, covers the extension of the anomalous soil geochemistry trend into the Stawell Granite. The current anomaly is a southern mirror image to the Stawell Gold Mine on the northern margin of the Stawell Granite.
The regional sampling over the Curtis Diorite in the vicinity of the historic Honeysuckle Mine is incomplete but the limited results received to date have returned anomalous arsenic values up to 123 ppb.
The regional multi-element soil geochemistry programme over the prospective stratigraphy in the Ararat Project is still in progress.
Carroll’s and Forgan’s Find Base Metal Prospect
A diamond hole was drilled at the Carroll’s prospect to a depth of 321m to test a strong IP chargeability anomaly, which coincided with a 1.5km long x 500m wide zinc-copper soil geochemistry anomaly and a surface float sample which returned a value of up to 24% copper, 1.1% zinc and 0.52 g/t gold.
At Forgan’s Find, a diamond hole was drilled to a depth of 359.9m in November 2015 to test gossanous mineralisation identified at surface which fell within the 1.5km long x 500m wide zinc-copper anomaly. At Forgan’s Find an in-situgossanous rock chip returned assays of 10% copper, 0.4% zinc and 1.5 g/t gold. The geochemical anomaly is supported by the strong IP chargeability feature which has been modelled from approximately 100m depth to 250m depth.
Narrow intervals of massive to stringer sulphides were intersected in the two drill holes. Results include:
- 0.2 metres at 1.77% zinc and 0.12% copper
- 0.25 metres at 0.57% zinc and 0.13% copper
- 0.25 metres at 0.41% zinc
Cathcart Hill Gold Prospect
One RC hole drilled to a depth of 200m and two RC holes with diamond tails, drilled to a depth of 305.7m and 302.6m respectively, were completed at the Cathcart Hill prospect to test IP chargeability features. These chargeability anomalies have a tabular geometry and dip against the stratigraphy and hence were considered to be significant with respect to potential gold mineralisation. The Cathcart Hill gold prospect was identified by the 2015 reconnaissance soil geochemistry programme and float rock-chip sampling. A 800m long arsenic-chrome geochemical anomaly associated with iron-rich pseudo gossan with laboratory assay results of up to 0.45% arsenic and 0.8 g/t gold was identified at Cathcart Hill. Selective sampling of the drilling did not return any significant gold intercepts or any interesting pathfinder elements.
Remington Mine Gold Prospect
The hard rock Remington Mine was discovered in 1895 and was reported as producing very high-grade material of up to 23 ounces per tonne. Six RC holes were drilled for a total of 686m to target the down dip extensions of the Remington Mine reef. Due to excess water, which would not have been able to be contained by the sumps, three of the RC holes had to have diamond tails to reach the target depth. The drill holes did intercept the targeted Remington Reef and Whitten Reef however the results were disappointing with no significant assay results received.
Honeysuckle Mine Gold Prospect
There are a number of historic mines, including the Honeysuckle Mine, hosted within a late-phase intrusive granite in the Ararat Project. Field investigations have identified alteration which may indicate the presence of a reasonably sized gold mineralised system, although historic mining focussed upon narrow, high-grade reefs.
Gold in the Honeysuckle area was discovered in 1897 and grades of 7.5 g/t gold were reported. With the gold being hosted within an intrusive granite, Induced Polarisation (IP) is an effective method in identifying sulphides potentially associated with gold mineralisation.
IP data was collected on four lines over the Curtis Diorite in the Honeysuckle Mine area. Processing of the data and integration with magnetic and gravity data has led to the identification of a number of chargeability features which are considered worthy of follow-up. Previous rock chip sampling by the Company in the vicinity of the Honeysuckle Mine returned a gold value of 5.33 g/t.
There are plans to collect additional IP data over the Curtis Diorite in the Honeysuckle Mine area. The additional IP data will assist in identifying the source of some of the existing chargeability responses. Drill testing of the chargeability anomalies in the vicinity of the historical hard rock workings in the Curtis Diorite area will be conducted subsequent to the completion of the additional IP.